How realistic was Scotty's accent?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by BoredShipCapt'n, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Could someone from Scotland please give an appraisal of James Doohan's performance on the accent? I know that there are many regional Scottish accents and certain variations of particular sounds within each, but as an ignorant American I'm curious as to whether anyone in Scotland would actually talk like Scotty.

    And if it's not realistic, does it sound as if he was striking a balance between authenticity (or possibly caricature) and what he thought an American audience would be able to understand? Or more as if he just wasn't doing it very well?

    Thanks.
     
  2. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, James Doohan once said (with tongue at least partly in cheek, I assume) that Scotty's accent was what a Scottish accent would sound like 200 years in the future.

    Truth be told, his "Scottish" dialect was about as authentic as Dick Van Dyke's "mockney" accent in Mary Poppins.

    Disclaimer: I'm not Scottish myself, although my name is Scot (with one T).
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Knowing various Scottish people I'd venture to say it only bears a passing resemblance to actual Scots accents.
     
  4. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I totally bought it.

    I first heard it when I was six.
     
  5. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There were times when I thought it sounded... acceptable. Generic, but acceptable. Other times though, not so much.
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    When I met one of our actual Scottish relatives (a cousin from Glasgow) I couldn't understand a fookin' word he said!
     
  7. MikeH92467

    MikeH92467 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Chris Doohan says when he toured Scotland, the Scots loved Scotty, but said the accent was terrible. They were much more pleased with having a Scotsman being such a major character and I guess he embodied enough positive qualities that the accent was just a source of amusement. Personally, I find that the more I drink the easier it is to understand a Scot...
     
  8. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    The world then was full of ethnic humpr done by white guys with cheesy accents. Buddy Ebsen on the Tonight show doing his "classic bit" as a Chinese waiter or something like that. 1966, people were ok with cheesy accents. Like bad disguises on spy shows. Now that we're exposed more in US media to real people from the actual places, the old cheese hasn't aged well. Except Pegg and other true Scots sound wrong to me, raised on the glories of Jimmy Doohan.

    (And accents definitely change over time as Doohan asserted. My father in law, born in the US to Finnish parents, goes to Finland and he sounds hilarious to them. In the new country the language ossified as it was in 1890. In hipster Finland, it kept evolving.)
     
  9. CaptPapa

    CaptPapa Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not surprised that Scotty's Scots accent was not very authentic - I've also read a number of comments on Chekov's . . . not very good Russian accent.
    Among other things, I enjoy old movies and I'm frequently amused by English actors speaking in their native voices, but playing German or French characters. It never seemed to bother them, or the producers.
    However, yesterday while watching an old Perry Mason episode, I may have heard the world's worst accent on film. The character, as described on film, was supposed to be a Welsh person, but the actor (read generic white TV character actor) was so bad with the accent, it came out as an Indian accent - and a caricature at that.
    ME
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Craig Ferguson once said that Scotty sounded like "a Pakistani with a stroke".

    Makes me wonder two things: 1) what he thinks of Simon Pegg's version, and 2) would Ferguson himself have been able to play Scotty if asked? You gotta admit, Ferguson simply *looks* more like James Doohan, and has the advantage of actually being Scottish (although in Pegg's case, his wife is, and she helped him with the accent)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I recall (perhaps from the book Chekov's Enterprise), Koenig said his accent was based on Lithuanian grandparents or something, not Russian. I'd have to look it up.
     
  12. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure what's worse: Scotty's Scottish accent, or Picard's French accent. Not Trek related, but Daphne's Cockney accent on Frasier is awful. A Brit friend of mine said that she sounds like a Brit, trying to sound American, trying to sound English.
     
  13. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    How French did Picard sound ? This is centuries in the future. Scotty is from Aberdeen but could have gone to school in the US, worked in Germany and had a home in Australia. All would affect his accent.
    Bottom line, I liked it.

    Don't forget in real life Doohan is from Vancouver Canada. Go Canada !
     
  14. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think Jean-Luc will sound as Jean-Louc in the future. Jonathan Farwell was able to pronounce the U adequately in Conspiracy.
     
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Picard never HAD a French accent.

    He rarely even spoke French.

    The character may have been French, but obviously spoke with an English accent, just like the actor. Seems simple enough...
     
  16. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I suppose that In the 23d century it would sound like a Scottish accent influenced by Federation Standard.
     
  17. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My comment was largely tongue-in-cheek. One of the first TNG episodes I believe Data referred to French as a dead language or something like that, so it's entirely possible the English accent took over for French. Also, Scotty's accent may be normal for his region 200 years from now. I'm sure that lots of accents from around the world have changed over the past 200 years, and see no reason why they wouldn't be changed further in another 200 years.
     
  18. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Doh. I thought Pegg was Scottish. My wife right now, God help me, is watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks and the bad Prussian accents are flying.
     
  19. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree.
     
  20. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, there are two factors in that:

    1) Jane Leeves has been living in America for a while, so like Marina Sirtis her accent has slipped a little.

    2) Daphne Moon is supposed to be from Manchester, but Leeves herself is from Essex (near London) and largely fails to hide that fact to a keen ear. The thing that makes her sound unconvincing isn't the poor cockney accent, it's that she isn't supposed to be playing cockney! :D